We come into a Monday Night game that could decide the outcome of two divisions. The lowly NFC South, and the better than expected NFC East. The guy that might end up deciding the match-up for the 6-2 Eagles? Second string quarterback Mark Sanchez. And he might even be an upgrade.
Imagine someone telling you that last season.
Yep, this is just the latest surprise in a season full of them. If someone told you last off-season that the Cowboys would start the season 6-1, the Browns would be leading the AFC North, the Seahawks AND the 49’ers were in real danger of missing the playoffs, and that Mark Sanchez might be the best option at quarterback for a likely playoff headed team, you’d tell them to get back in the car with LeGarrette Blount and Le’Veon Bell. But alas, here we are. And this is only week 10.
Carolina are a shell of the team they were last season. It wasn’t a shock to see the offense regress given the loss of key pieces in the off-season. But it is surprising to see this defense drop off the way it has. This is a team that didn’t give up a lot of big plays last season. This season, they are one of the worst in that category.
Carolina’s Running Game Woes
The running game hasn’t been consistent, with Cam Newton looking to be the guy that threatens the most rushing the ball. Through the air, they have become a one-dimensional offense, with Kelvin Benjamin by far the biggest weapon for this team in the passing game. Cam Newton started the season very strongly, but in the last few weeks, it appears the pressure of carrying this team on his back has been to much, with a few below average performances from the young quarterback.
The Eagles are a different beast. They started the season off with what seemed like a fortunate run, winning games with no running game, and a reliance on special teams and defensive touchdowns. Obviously not things you cant rely on doing on a week to week basis, but they were getting it done.
The Improving Eagles Offense
As the seasons worn on, this offense has looked much better. Jeremy Maclin is looking like a top five receiver in the league, already making 5 receptions over 50 yards, good for tied first in the league. McCoy struggled in the first month, averaging 48 yards/game in the first four weeks. He’s really clicked to gear lately, averaging 107.5 yards/game in his last four.
Offensively this Eagles team is 4th in the league in yards, whilst this Panthers team is 24th in total defense. Philly average 33 points at home, and the Panthers concede on average 31.8 points on the road. Last week, in a big spot against a divisional rival, Carolina were beaten by the Saints in what turned out to beat a rout. The opportunity for this team to make a stand was at home in that game, and they didn’t do it. Can’t see why it would suddenly turn around against a better opponent on the road.
I am confident this game ends in a Philadelphia victory. Oddsmakers agree, with the most common line I see being Philadelphia -6. I like the Eagle to cover here. I see them scoring over 30 points, and just can’t see this below average offense of the Panthers putting up that many. My tip? Take the Eagles minus 6. The total sits at 49, definitely worth some consideration. I don’t think these teams should struggle to put up more than 50 points. If it drops at all before kick-off, for me, it’s an auto play.
FINAL PREDICTION – EAGLES 37, PANTHERS 20
Rob’s Dirtbag Degenerate Parlay – This is something I plan to do every week. A dirty, disgusting, shameful parlay that doesn’t deserve money being tossed it’s way. But hey, being the dirtbag that I am, i’ll toss money at it anyway. My only rule for this parlay? it has to pay AT LEAST 100:1. Disgusting. If you’re as disgusting as I am, put a few dollars on it as well. That way we both lose our lunch money.
GB-7.5, STL+6.5, OAK+10.5, NO-4.5, NYJ+4.5, DET-2.5, BUF+1.5, BAL-9.5.
8 Leg Parlay, 145:1.